Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.
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The Minnesota state motto, L'Etoile du Nord — which means "The Star of the North" — is not a trademarked name and is used around the state for several business, including a brand new winery on Lake Irene. L'Etoile du Nord Farm Winery, owned and operated by the husband-wife team of David Christianson and Polly Perkins, officially opened the weekend after Labor Day. The small, family-operated winery is located along Highway 29 between Miltona and Parkers Prairie on land where Perkins grew up.
Alexandria is not necessarily a prime region for growing apples commercially. It sits in Northern Zone 4, a zone with a short growing season, says Troy Heald of Country Blossom Farm. Apples can be grown in Zone 3, which is in the northern third of the state, but very few varieties are rated for that zone, he said. All of which means that anyone who tries to make a go out of an apple orchard here had better be all in on the venture.
FORADA, Minn.—Whitney Olson is a farm girl through and through and has been involved in 4-H since she was in third grade. Just last month, she competed and came out a big winner at the National Western Stock Show in Denver with her heifer, Demi. She won two national championship titles — the Supreme Champion Percentage Simmental in both the Junior Show and the Open Show.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn.—A wolf hit and killed by a truck in Douglas County last week turned out to weigh a little less than originally thought. After being brought to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Glenwood, the wolf was weighed and came in at only 67 pounds. This is about 30 pounds less than the estimate by Douglas County Sheriff deputies, who were on scene and called the DNR.
As Adam Kavanagh was making his way to a “vehicle versus timberwolf” call early Tuesday, he was in disbelief. Kavanagh, a deputy with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, said he expected to see a coyote or even a German shepherd. “I wasn’t expecting a wolf,” said Kavanagh. “But lo and behold, we showed up and there it was. It was something I had never seen before.”
As the judge read his verdict, the sounds of sobbing grew louder and louder in the small federal courtroom. With tears streaming down her face, Nancy Estrada exchanged a look of disbelief with her husband, Julio Estrada Escobar, as they learned that he is being deported back to his home country of Guatemala. At the end of the 45-minute verdict read by Immigration Judge Ryan Wood on Wednesday, Dec. 13, he said, "This was a difficult day and I made the best decision I could. I wish you the best."
WASHINGTON — At this Thanksgiving celebration, there could only be one "Drumstick." Two Alexandria, Minn., turkeys were gobbling up attention at the White House on Tuesday afternoon. But only one ended up in the spotlight in a ceremony televised and streamed live on social media.
FARWELL, Minn. -- A 58-year-old western Minnesota farmer died in a farming accident over the weekend. On Sunday, Oct. 29, at 7:42 a.m., the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office received a call reporting a farm accident near Farwell about 20 miles southwest of Alexandria in western Douglas County.
KENSINGTON, Minn.—Dan and Kay Persons, sheep producers in rural Kensington in western Minnesota, are hoping to play a role in the fight against Huntington's disease. Huntington's is a progressive brain disorder that causes uncontrolled movements, emotional problems and loss of thinking ability and cognitive skills, but a lipid produced by some sheep has shown great promise in reversing the devastating symptoms of Huntington's.
HOFFMAN, Minn. — A first-of-its-kind newly signed budget bill is a win-win for the future of farming in Minnesota. And it's thanks in part to Andrew Barsness, a 27-year-old grain farmer from Hoffman. Barsness, a member and co-leader of the Central Minnesota Young Farmers Coalition, not only testified before the House Ag Policy Committee in support of the bill, but was part of the lobbying effort, along with other members of the coalition.